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Scandal – Sex, lies and audiotape

So we learned a lot of things in the season finale of the addictive 'Scandal:' Cyrus is evil, Mellie is coldly calculating and Fitz really loves Olivia. But who the heck is Quinn?

- Season 1, Episode 7 - "Grant: For the People"

Where to begin here with this bloody, scissory season finale? With corrupt, craven politics larded with lies? With the sabotaging of a crime scene? With Olivia melting into Fitz’s arms like butter? With Olivia willing to risk jail and break the law for Quinn Perkins who apparently isn’t “Quinn?”

Okay, let’s start there, with the feckless Quinn who has been nothing more than a meek presence in the shadow of the crisp ferocity of Olivia, who can sport a gorgeous white coat to a really bloody crime scene and get nary a speck of blood on it? When Scandal began, it was with Quinn getting hired by Olivia, a woman Quinn had never met, a woman who didn’t interview Quinn, who didn’t explain why the quiet as a church mouse gal had been asked to join Olivia’s crew of gladiators in suits. There was always something fishy about that, but it was easy to gloss over and forget about it when you’re talking about sex in the Oval Office, oh, and an audiotape of the president saying, “Take off your clothes.”

Now that fishiness has resurfaced into a major cliffhanger. “Do you want to tell them who you are or should I?” Olivia asked as Quinn was delivered to Olivia’s office by the U.S. attorney who’d run her fingerprints and decided it’d be better to let Olivia handle this, whatever “this” is. Why would Olivia stick her neck out for this twentysomething with no particular talents? Do viewers even care?

Then there was Cyrus Beene, in his garden of blooming roses, meeting with the dude who killed Amanda Tanner, the guy he hired, the guy Huck tortured, the guy who might (or might not) kill the vice president’s former aide. So now we know that Cyrus is willing to kill in order to keep his position and keep Fitz in office. That’s not much different than the lengths Billy Chambers went to in an attempt to elevate his boss, the vice president, to the presidency, where he believes she belongs.

What’s interesting is witnessing the powerful hold Cyrus has over Olivia, how expertly he can manipulate her, the feared D.C. fixer, into doing his bidding while cloaking it in weighty words like “greatness” and “destiny.” History trumps happiness in Cyrus’s estimation and, apparently in Olivia’s as well as she cooperated with the icy Mellie to concoct a mammoth set of lies in order to preserve Fitz’s presidency and discredit Chambers, a bit too tidily for my tastes.

But what about the bloodied body of Gideon? What will become of his murder investigation? Certainly another intrepid journalist will come along to uncover the story that got Gideon killed, right? Olivia’s U.S. attorney pal David will have to find a way to hold Chambers accountable for the murder, won’t he? I’ll be sorely disappointed if the murder becomes a footnote, lost in the political maneuverings and enveloped by the Quinn mystery.

A couple of other things that bothered me about this finale:

  • Wouldn’t Quinn know not to remove the scissors from Gideon’s neck because he’d bleed to death? If you’ve seen any episodes of Grey’s Anatomy — created by the same woman who created Scandal — you would know that you don’t remove the object.
  • Why would Chambers simply confess the murder to Olivia?
  • What was up with the smile on the vice president’s face when she told Fitz she has her beliefs and standards … before Fitz blackmailed her with info about her daughter’s abortion?
  • Will the video of Fitz and Olivia making out in the middle of the Oval Office eventually be leaked?
  • If Chambers turns up dead, won’t that lead back to Pope & Company?

Did the Scandal finale live up to your expectations?

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Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

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